Proof of Bishop Timlin’s Cover-Up and Possible RICO Violation

Exhibit A,  for your consideration.  On Groundhog Day in 1998, Bishop Timlin, in his capacity as the Bishop of Scranton, removed the priestly faculties of the Diocese in the case of Robert Gibson for “reasons of health” (wink, wink!).  Is it common to remove the priestly faculties of a man who has a legitimate physical ailment?  If you go back through the files I think that every pedophile/sexual predator removed from his parish/diocesan posting for sexual abuse probably has a similar letter for “reasons of health”.   I suspect that you will find that across the country and around the world because that was the way the coordinated actions of the Church Hierarchy worked.

timlin-decree-on-gibson

 

By affixing his signature and seal before a witness, James Earley (who also signed the document), Bishop Timlin, actively and with full knowledge of credible accusations of Gibson’s sexual crimes, set out to deceive the parishioners of Gibson’s previous assignments, the Diocese of Scranton and the Catholic Church as a whole.  He did so in an official church document.  This is nothing short of fraud and conspiracy to protect a pedophile.

In fact, if you gather all the letters removing the priestly faculties of the men credibly accused  of sexual misconduct, molestation and child rape I think you may have a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) Case.

18 U.S. Code § 1961 or “RICO” is a federal law designed to combat organized crime in the United States. It allows prosecution and civil penalties for racketeering activity performed as part of an ongoing criminal enterprise.  I believe the Diocese of Scranton qualifies as an “ongoing criminal enterprise.”  The fact that the Diocese moved Gibson across state lines to a church run center in Dittmer, Missouri satisfies the “interstate” conspiracy portion of the statute.

I think the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern Pennsylvania needs to get active and involved.

Something is not quite right

I inquire as the health and well-being of my perp, Robert J. Gibson, periodically.   I did so last month to the Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese of Scranton.  Admittedly, the email to Joan Holmes was pretty sarcastic. I asked the question “Is the monster still alive?”.   I did edit out the adjective I used initially.

As is the standard operating procedure of the Diocese, Ms. Holmes wrote me a wonderful little email in reply, passing my questions to the new chancellor.  What I felt most disturbing about Ms. Holmes email dated on 7 April during Holy Week (For victims of sexual crimes committed by priest that week of 2012 is known as the first week in April)  was the passage that read:

As for the trial in Philadelphia, it fills me with sadness and compassion for the victims.  At this time during Holy Week, I look at Jesus crucified and I see both priest and victim, so I pray also for the Church He founded.” 

You see the priest crucified?   Really?!  I can see a church official seeing the victim crucified.  That makes perfect sense.  The church seems to be crucifying us on a regular basis either through their lawyers, PR Firms or through the wonderful (check the sarcasm meter) people of the Catholic League.  I guess it is symptomatic of her being sympathetic to the hierarchy of the church that both pays her salary and protects predators in roman collars.  There is really no doubt as to where the “Victim’s Assistance Office’s” loyalty falls.

I need to reiterate to the people out there who were victims of sexual crimes by religious or laity in the Diocese of Scranton, the Victim’s Assistance Coordinator’s office  is not there to help you.  It exists to collect information for the Diocese so that a defensive strategy can be established and the victim of the crime can be marginalized, sidelined or silenced.  This office is not an advocate for the victim.  If you are looking for assistance in Pennsylvania, I would recommend you contact the local police department or district attorney and the Foundation to Abolish Child Sexual Abuse (FACSA).  The Diocese will not offer anything more than lip service to assist you.

The second response to my email came from Ms. Teresa Osborne, the current Chancellor for the Diocese of Scranton.  Her email was the official response for several of my questions.  Let the record show, they are mostly non-answers.

In regard to the question of whether or not “the monster” still draws breath, her answer was ” Robert Gibson is alive and continues to reside in a secure residential facility for priests in the state of Missouri.”  I will have to assume he is in the Catholic Church’s minimum security location for incarcerating predator priest in Dittmer, the St. John Vianney Renewal Center. (and people are worried about Sharia Law? The Catholic Church has been running an underground “jail” network for years!) Funny, last time they were adamant about the fact that he was an old man suffering from dementia in a long-term medical facility in Dittmer, a hospital.  They had previous told me he had been moved out of the Vianney Center.   OOPS!  Someone should have coordinated the response (lies) from the Diocese to make it consistent with earlier reports (lies, half truths) to me.

I am driving west to an event at the end of the month.  Maybe I should swing by Dittmer and pay a visit on Robert Gibson and get a first hand look at what kind of condition he is in. Will he be in a room or on the golf course?   I will just plug the address (6476 Eime Road, Dittmer, MO 63023) and let my Garmin direct me on the most efficient way to get to the “secure residential facility”.  Anyone up for a road trip?

In response to my question about why I was never interviewed, the Chancellor said “From the time your allegation was brought forward, the Diocese of Scranton accepted what you said as true”.  Still, I think it odd that the Diocese did not interview me for purposes of a canonical  proceeding.  It was not odd, I later found out, because they did not refer the case to the Vatican.  The Chancellor goes on to say “… Robert Gibson’s status was recently re-evaluated by the Diocese and a referral of his case to the Vatican was initiated.”   That is about as non-committal as responses come.  Did the Bishop order a an action?  What was the action requested?  When was the action forwarded to the Vatican?  Why have I still not been interviewed?   If her goal was to appease me with her email, she fell short of the mark.

As expected, the Diocese has done essentially nothing.  They will continue to do nothing.   I think I need to program my Garmin GPS unit and start my trek across I-64 heading west towards Dittmer, Missouri.   “Recalculating…”

Only Four, I Think Not…

Four.  That is the number of victims of Father Robert Gibson to which the Diocese of Scranton has stipulated. Four.

I don’t get it.  I cannot believe that the Diocese of Scranton continues to stubbornly stick to that number.  I have corresponded with survivors, family members of survivors, classmates of survivors, as well as friends.  I have spoken to officials at Notre Dame High School.  The number grows a little higher every time I get an indication that someone is looking for Gibson on Google.  Sometimes an email arrives a few days later, sometimes a comment appears.  The number I have is Fourteen.  Of course, I have names to go with the digits.  That is still a very low number.  Given the number of parishes, schools and camps he had access to and the number of years in his predatory prime, this man probably had victims that numbered in the hundreds.  He probably tried to groom or isolate more than that.  This man was prolific in his criminal sexual behavior against minors.  Against children!

Four?  I think not!  And the Diocese of Scranton knows it.  Someone in the diocese has access to his “secret” files.  Someone can go in and get a feel for how many complaints were submitted.  I bet the vast, overwhelming  majority of those were covered up.  Someone knows about the settlements and the confidentiality agreements that had everything to do with protecting the Bishop and the Diocese and nothing to do with protecting children, searching for victims and getting Gibson out of ministry and into the hands of the criminal justice system.  I know of one, the survivor told me himself.

Someone in the Diocese of Scranton has the names of other victims.  The Victim’s Assistance Coordinator gave me a name of another victim along with his contact information. (Not the one I alluded to in the previous paragraph.)

I have responded to emails, phone calls and blog comments from classmates of mine, from classmates of my siblings, from siblings of other potential survivors and from parents of Gibson’s other targets.

The magic number is not FOUR.  The Bishop of Scranton needs to come clean, now.  Not only on Robert Gibson, but on at least TWENTY-FIVE identified Catholic Priests and lay officials of the diocese that have credible allegations of criminal sexual assault on boys, girls and vulnerable adults.  Former Bishops have covered up and moved these monsters around the diocese allowing them access to fresh pools of potential victims.  The Bishops, only concerned with keeping allegations quiet and victims isolated, showed a reckless disregard for the safety and wellbeing of children in the diocese by moving Gibson and other monsters just like him from parish to parish.  And when the heat was too much, they moved Gibson to Missouri.  They put him in a Catholic “safe house”.  He is still there in Missouri, outside of the jurisdiction that could have tried him for the rapes and sexual assaults he committed over his career.

Just as a recap from a post I did in October 2008, Robert Gibson’s history of assignments:

1959-65 Scranton, PA St. Paul, 1510 Penn Ave. Priests: John J. Vaughan(Vicar Forane, Dean), Joseph F. Ryan, Joseph R. Doggett(’59), Francis A. Conlan(’60-62), Robert J. Gibson

School: 7 Sisters of the I.H.M. 1 lay teacher 484 pupils High school: 10 Sisters of the I.H.M. 280 pupils
Mission: St. Clare’s School: Sisters of the I.H.M. 7 Lay teacher 1 2215 Washington Ave. 401 pupils.
1966-67 directory not available (

1968-1970 Stroudsburg, PA St. Matthew’s, 200 Brodhead Ave. Priests: Thomas J. Cawley,Robert J. Gibson, John J. Bendik

St Matthews School: 7 Sisters I.H.M. 2 lay teachers 311 pupils Missions: St. Luke’s, Stroudsburg; St. John’s, Bushkill; St. Mark’s, Delaware Water Gap

1971-1974 Stroudsburg, PA St. Luke’s, 906 Main St. Priests: Francis G. Barrett, Robert J. Gibson In residence: John J. Bendik Mission: St. Mark’s, Delaware Water Gap.

St Matthews School, East Stroudsburg, Notre Dame Junior/Senior High School.

1975-82 Brodheadsville, PA Our Lady Queen of Peace Church Priest: Robert J. Gibson
Mission: Jonas, Holy Family.

School:  Still associated with St. Matthew’s and Notre Dame

1983 Conyngham, PA St. John Bosco Priest: Robert J. Gibson

1984-95 Canadensis, PA St. Bernadette Church Priest: Robert J. Gibson
Mission: Promised Land, Our Lady of Fatima

1996 -1997 Kingston, PA St. Ignatius, 339 N. Maple Ave. Priests: F. Allan Conlan, Glenn E. McGreary, Joseph B. Wilson In res., Robert J. Gibson Chapel—St. Ann’s

1998-2008 Unassigned or leave of absence.  In the case of Fr. Gibson, he was sequestered in the Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer, Missouri and now is reported to be in a hospital in the Ditmer area.  The report is from the Diocese.  I do not put much stock in the word of the Diocesan spokespeople, they seem to be accomplished liars.

The latest contact was from a family member of a probable victim of Gibson.  He came after me on the timeline.  I can’t help but feel a little responsible. I didn’t stop him.  I didn’t kill him when I had the opportunity. I didn’t turn him in, he had me completely terrorized.  I know intellectually that it was not my fault.  But the voice in my head hasn’t processed that yet.

Postscript: My middle son is one of the most brilliant minds I have ever known (from his mom’s end of the gene pool).  He was counting on his hands as my oldest son’s “love interest” was quizing him on the classic movies he should be familiar with as a modern, well healed male in the 21st century.  He was counting off the movies he had seen from her extensive list in binary (his world seems to spin on a slightly different axis, and that makes him a force of nature).

When he got to 4 I started laughing.  If you are as smart as he, you know what finger “4” is on when counting in Binary.  That knowledge in hand, so to speak, I would like to offer something to the Diocese of Sranton.  I got your “four” right here.

Sound Retreat! Martino moves out of the Bishop’s Residence in Scranton

Bishop Martino, this is your long distance dedication:

A report published on the Scranton Times-Tribune website and discussed on the National Catholic Reporter today has Bishop Joseph Martino, the patriarch of the Diocese of Scranton, moving out of the bishop’s residence near St Peter’s Cathedral in downtown Scranton.  He is alleged to be taking up residence the Fatima Renewal Center near Dalton, Pennsylvania. Just when I get accustomed to calling him the Bully of Wyoming Avenue, he changes his address!

It strikes me that Bishop Martino has alienated so many groups (teachers, parishioners of parishes he has closed, democrats, victims of his pedophile priests, parade organizers, etc…) that there may be no one left in the Electric City who can tolerate his presence.

The reason for the move is yet to be explained. His mouthpiece, Bill Genello has not put the spin out on this one yet. In the absence of an explanation, no matter how contrived by the diocesan spin machine, the mind is left to come up with any number of reasons for the change of residence. I found it entertaining that the Bishop had some guy in a pick-up truck swing by for a desk, an easy chair and some other items to take up to Dalton. I makes him look just like a regular guy calling a buddy for a hand moving his stuff.

The question that remains is why is the shepherd abandoning his flock for the suburbs? Is this the result of a vote of “No Confidence” from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church? Rumors of a need for a change are mentioned in the National Catholic Reporter article. Have they had enough of the bishop’s antics? Is there some medical reason for his departure? While I am no fan of this Bishop, I do hope, sincerely, that this move is not the result of a serious medical condition.

Or is it something more sinister. When Father Gibson, my perp, was pulled from his last parish he was sent to a “renewal center”. You know the kind of place that caters to priests that have committed some crime or have become addicted to alcohol, drugs, alter boys, etc… Since he is not being moved out of state, like they have done with other priests with the intention of keeping them one step ahead of the sheriff, I am assuming it is to recalibrate him.

I have to admit, I would love for this to be the result of a U.S. Attorney probe into the Diocese’s activities to commit fraud, hide felons, and endanger children.  But it could just as easily be that the Direct TV reception is better in Dalton and that the reception for the Phillies games is all the more clearer outside of the city.

I hope he enjoys the quiet and solitude. Perhaps he will come to reflect on the damage he has done not only to his flock but to those who were cast out of the flock by other shepherds in his organization. Maybe he will have a chance to hear the voice of some higher power telling him to do the right and moral thing.  That voice seems to have been unable to sway him within the city limits of  Scranton.  If you get the notion, your excellency, how about coming clean on all your pedophile priests?  Why not go on the road to all the parishes and schools that have had a predator priest and look for other victims?  Why not expend diocesan resources on helping people instead of shielding pedophiles and paying public relation firms and lawyers to intimidate and isolate victims?  Why not try to come across as more of a human and less of a bully.

It is all too much to ask for. Maybe we will eventually find out why he is distancing himself from the people he is supposed to serve. But for now, I think his new neighbors should be vigilant. There is a reason he has moved and given this diocese’s track record, I am confident something wicked this way comes.

Enjoy the tune by Billy Joel, your excellency!

P.S. Can anyone tell me what became of Father Dave Bechtel? He was the priest who would spend his days writing comments and countering other comments on the Scranton Times-Tribune Website. He is a young priest who seems to have been overly protective of the Bishop when negative comments appeared in response to the paper’s articles on the diocese or on the Bishop in particular. Father Bechtel has seemingly gone dark. Perhaps he was told to stop “defending” the Bishop? Perhaps he knows something that we don’t. Come on Father Dave, tell us what is happening, I’ll put up your comments for the world to read.

An Open Letter to Bishop Joseph F. Martino, Diocese of Scranton

Bishop Martino,

During January and February 2009, we exchanged letters on the topic of Father Robert J. Gibson who, as you are well aware, sexually abused and raped me as a 13 year old child in the rectory of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania , while on vacation at Walt Disney World and on a trip to New York City.  All of these events took place in 1974 when I was an eighth grader or rising freshman at Notre Dame Junior/Senior High School in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.   As of this writing, I am still not satisfied with the action taken by you or your representatives on this matter.

From my vantage point, I see the Diocese of Scranton as a significant player in the policy of excusing and enabling the sex crimes committed by pedophile priests in your curia.  I believe that your administration and the administration of Bishop Timlin and the previous bishops of Scranton buried reports, prevented and delayed reports to civil authorities to outlast the statute of limitations.  I believe that the bishops acted in a blatantly criminal and arrogant manner to obstruct justice.  I have no doubt that victims came to the Diocese and sought help, justice, and guidance.  I am sure that many feel, as I do, that they were betrayed and violated all over again.

You and your predecessors had ample opportunities to act swiftly to protect children and vulnerable adults and to limit the number of victims of priests who were acting outside of the law and the church.  The bishops of Scranton, the chancery, the priests who have known about the actions of their brother priests and did nothing but look the other way all failed the victims, the parishioners of the Diocese and their God.

Perhaps your time in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia tempered your attitude towards victims.  All of Pennsylvania’s Catholic Diocese share a common legacy of secrecy and deceit. I see your administration as a continuation of an arrogant, self-serving attitude by those who feel entitled by their position to act any way they see appropriate to secure the secular trappings that accompany high office in the Roman Catholic Church.  At some point it stops being about God, doesn’t it?

Based on our correspondence, your writings, public statements and my observations of your actions in your Diocese through media outlets that cover you, I am convinced that you selectively choose those moral issues that you so vehemently champion.  Your zealous defense of conservative Catholic positions seems out of step with your Diocese’s deafening silence when it comes to the issue of the priest sex scandal. It must be effortless for you to compartmentalize your positions.  It must be simple to attack people and matters that are external to the walls of the Chancery on Wyoming Avenue.  It is alright to use the tactics of a bully on the likes of Senator Casey, Vice President Biden, and James Calderone or to threaten to close the doors of the Cathedral on St. Patrick’s Day if the parade isn’t your liking.  You must enjoy the thought of calling the administrators and faculties of the Catholic Colleges and Universities to task on health and diversity issues or to storm into a church forum and attempt to dictate the votes of the parishioners in accordance with your views.  Why, then, do you remain silent in your pastoral letters, actions, and statements about the epidemic of sexual crime/abuse within your own diocese?  Why have you taken no action against those that have committed these heinous crimes?  Why have you taken no action against those in your diocese who turned the other way or actively sought to cover up or delay reporting the sex crimes committed against children, adolescents and vulnerable adults in your diocese?

On a very personal level, I have not been satisfied with the treatment I have received while dealing with your Chancery.  Your responses to my letters and the responses from your representatives indicate that your diocese remains unwilling to take the serious actions required to safeguard the children of your diocese from predators wearing Roman collars.

You have failed to adequately answer my questions on actions taken against Father Gibson to include canonical proceedings to defrock him.  Were he to die today, I have no doubt that the Catholic Church would give him a funeral where his great works as a priest would be celebrated.  I am sure the names of his victims will never be mentioned. For the record, I have more names than the four unnamed victims stipulated to by you through your representatives.  I am sure that he will be carried to his grave in a manner befitting an exalted and faithful servant of God.  That will be a lie perpetuated by you!  I doubt we, his victims, will be notified of his death or invited to the celebration of his priestly life.  That would not be in keeping with your Diocese’s business model.  I would show up, to pay my last respects.

Why has the Diocese of Scranton failed to notify the parishes and schools to which Father Gibson has been assigned of his admitted actions?  There are more of his victims out there  who may have run across Gibson at any one of his assignments including  St Paul’s Parish in Scranton, St. Clare’s School, St Matthews in East Stroudsburg, St. Matthews School in East Stroudsburg (now known as Notre Dame Elementary School), Notre Dame High School in East Stroudsburg, St. Marks in Delaware Water Gap, St. Luke’s in Stroudsburg, Our Lady Queen of Pease in Brodheadsville, Holy Family in Jonas, St. John Bosco in Conyngham (my, that was a short 6 month assignment), St Bernadette’s Church in CanadensisMonsignor McGugh Elementary School and St. Ignatius in Kingston. You just don’t want to be bothered by all the mess that would accompany those victims coming forward.  I’m sure your staff found his love of alcohol an excellent cover story for his removal from at least one of these assignments.  You would rather they remain silent and isolated.  You care nothing of the damage done to their lives, families and their faith.  Multiply that damage by the number of other victims of the other priests that your Diocese has protected over the years, and you will begin to see the magnitude of the problem.

What steps have been taken to determine if others knew of Father Gibson’s crimes but turned their backs or enabled him to continue abusing? I cannot believe priests in residence at rectories where Father Gibson lived did not find his obsessions with boys as odd. One other victim told me that a priest, still in service to the diocese today, walked in on them while Father Gibson was molesting the boy and simply left the room. A nun walked in on a heated, very physical argument in the school chapel between myself and Father Gibson. No action was ever taken. Turning away is easy. All evil needs to thrive is for good people to do nothing.

The Bishops and Auxiliary Bishops, the Chancellors and the Episcopal Vicars who have held office in the Diocese of Scranton knew of the actions of this priest and far too many others.  You are all complicit in the crimes that have been committed by your lack of action.  Is not a sin of omission still a sin? Is there not one person of moral character among you that is willing to stand up and say this was a terrible wrong?

You have extended an invitation for me to meet with you.  At this time I must politely decline that invitation.  Traveling to Scranton to meet with you would be a complete waste of my time.  I do not need to be the next target of your bullying.  My greatest fear, however, is that you would enjoy the salacious details of the rapes, molestation, and abuse I suffered at Father Gibson’s hands.

I do hope that someday we will have the opportunity to meet.  I would love to know what kind of man would protect monsters like Father Gibson.  In the meantime, when you are saying mass in a chapel, your  Cathedral, or any of the churches that Father Gibson defiled through his deviant, immoral and criminal activities, I want you to think about the children you have failed, the families that have been wrecked and the souls destroyed because men like you did nothing.  At the moment of consecration, I want that flash of consciousness of the suffering of the victims of your priests to come over you.  Then perhaps, you will understand.

Very respectfully,

Michael Baumann

Connecting the dots…

My wife told me, when I first shared my secret with her, that I would be angry when I found out who knew that Gibson was a pedophile and who was protecting him.  She was right.  I am angry at the entire apparatus that has protected him and the other perp priests in the Scranton Diocese.  Some emails and blog posts that I have read in the last few days have brought it all into some clarity.

Let’s take a look at the litany of the protectors of the child rapists.

  • Bishop Timlin actively protected several priests.  He seems to have deftly moved perps from parish to parish or from parish to treatment center all on the down low.
  • Bishop Martino inherited the mess from his predecessors.  However, he cast his lot when he continued to keep the secrets of the rapist priests.  He is also, by many accounts, a bit of a bully.  This makes him difficult to communicate with and he prefers sending other people to do what the boss should do.  He sent his auxiliary Bishop to impose his will on St Patrick’s Day organizers in the Electric City.  He has his Chancellor and his Victim’s Advocate speak in his stead to victims.  That seems to smack of cowardice.  It may be my 23+ years in the Navy speaking, but the axiom fits here –  “When in command, command”.  Translation – When you are in charge, be in charge and take responsibility.  Man up!
  • Bishop DiLorenzo, currently the Bishop of Richmond, Virginia.  He served as an auxiliary Bishop in the Diocese of Scranton.  Nice to know that the Bishop of the Diocese in which I currently live may have had a hand in protecting my rapist and has ties to the Electric City Catholic Pedophile Conspiracy. I bet he knows where some of the priests are hidden!
  • Bishop Dougherty, the current auxiliary Bishop and former Chancellor of the Diocese of Scranton. As chancellor and now as auxiliary bishop he would be in the know on the extent of the misconduct and felonious activities of diocesan pedophiles. I wonder if auxiliary bishops are like vice presidents. It is a great title, but they don’t seem to have much to do except for the boss’s dirty work and hope that a better gig comes along.
  • James Earley, Chancellor of the Diocese of Scranton.  His signature is on most of the correspondence from the Diocese to victims.  He is the one who writes the letters to civil authorities (if prodded enough or when the diocese is cornered).  This man knows the names of the priests who are committing crimes.  I wonder how much they pay him to keep silent.
  • Father Richard Locke, Episcopal Vicar. He is the one that tracks all the personnel issues involving clergy.  I bet his file cabinet is chock full of felonious activity.
  • Monsignor John Bendik.  I have to ask, Monsignor what did you think Gibson was doing in the St. Luke’s rectory with all those boys in the 1970’s?  You may have walked in on inappropriate behavior, you must have seen something?  And yet you kept your silence.  Your name also appears in court cases for other priests accused of inappropriate sexual behavior.  So close to the flame so many times!  I wonder if your reward for silence is your current position as Monsignor?
  • The Legal Staff-  I am not sure who the attorneys for the Diocese are.  It is probably best that I don’t name the firm here. They are the pit bulls employed by Bishop Martino to insure that the victims remain in their place.  These are the people who cover the tracks of the guilty and those that protect them.  You guys should be really proud.
  • The Comptroller of the Diocese.  Follow the money! They were able to get Al Capone because, when it came down to it, the bookkeeper gave him up.  Where does all the money go? How much is paid to keep perp priests out of sight and away from the glaring light of truth?  How much is spent on lawyers who are there to revisit the pain on victims?  How much is spent on the meager payments to victims in those rare instances where a token settlement is paid to the victim?  Where do they hide the money in the diocesan accounts?  Where are the settlements recorded in the books?  How much do you pay for insurance in case another priest turns out to be a serial child rapist?  I bet those premiums are unpleasant!
  • Accounts Payable Supervisor.  Who writes the checks or pays cash to the counseling centers that provide therapy to the protected priests?  How much is being paid out for counseling expenses for victims?  The person making these payments must know why they are made.  Perhaps some trusted lieutenant to the Bishop is personally overseeing those payments.  Your payments are not that far from the payment made to Judas.  Think about it!
  • The Diocesan Review Board: Sister Celilia Meighan, RSM; Monsignor Peter Madus,V.F.; Mr. Donald Nicastro; Mr. Joseph Knecht; Carl Frank, Esq. I hope you all realize that your job is to protect children and those who are preyed upon by priests and other diocesan employees who commit crimes.  If you see your job as protecting the Bishop of Scranton, I would say you are doing a great disservice to your faith, the parishioners and the truth. I recommend that, if you have a spine, you resign in protest.
  • Teachers and Administrators at the schools where these men preyed on victims.  I cannot believe that no one noticed anything.  Hell, I had a nun walk in on a very ugly incident and she turned and walked away!  In my case I have little doubt that someone at Notre Dame knew Gibson was a pedophile.  Why was nothing done? The current principal was my 9th grade English teacher, he has been at that school for many years. I wonder how much he knows? I wonder how many more victims he can name? I am not accusing him of complicity. I do respect the man, I hope that anything he knows is after the fact. I could not stand another disappointment.
  • The Parishioners in the Diocese.  When are you people going to get it?  They are spending your money, the money you tithe, to protect pedophiles.  Is that what you want?  If it is, just keep stroking your checks.  You are complicit by not demanding that the Bishop be accountable.
  • The District Attorneys for the counties in the Diocese.  When are you people going to act?  Why do you give the Diocese a free pass and allow them to quietly take care of their own?  If this was any other company, someone would be in handcuffs.  The Diocese does not seem to be that far away from being an organized crime enterprise. Law enforcement should be doing investigations and the justice system should be the final arbiter of the truth.  Stop allowing the Diocese to police itself. 

The Diocese of Scranton is a safe haven for pedophiles as long as the people listed above continue to support the priests. It is time for a change in the way business is done in Scranton!

Abuse thrives in an environment of secrecy! These people are enablers of abuse as long as they keep the Bishops’ secrets.

Bishop Timlin’s Precept and Decree on Father Robert Gibson

In February  1998, the Bishop of Scranton was the Most Reverend James C. Timlin.  He was the man who should have been  responsible for taking action to protect children who were the victims of predator priests in his diocese.  He seems to have been a complete failure.  He oversaw the diocese’s mishandling of a high visibility case involving Father Robert Caparelli.   Who knows how many other complaints against other priests he kept quiet during his tenure?   Bishop Timlin is currently Bishop Emeritus in Scranton.

Bishop Timlin issued two documents dated 2 February 1998.  The first was a precept.  A precept is a command to an individual that enjoins that person to do or not do something, especially in order to compel obedience of a law, regulation or directive.  In this case the precept ordered Father Gibson to stop representing himself as a Diocesan priest and to stop wearing clerical attire.

Bishop Timlin's Precept to Father Gibson in February 1998
Bishop Timlin's Precept to Father Gibson in February 1998

The second document was a decree that ordered Father Gibson to cease all ministerial activity. Oddly enough, the decree was issued for reasons of “health”. Reasons of Health? Is that what they call it at the Chancery when a priest has been accused of and admitted to molesting and raping children?

Bishop Timlin's decree terminating Father Gibson's ministry
Bishop Timlin's decree terminating Father Gibson's ministry

It is almost comical that the precept and the decree were both issued on Groundhog Day. I wonder if the Chancellor stuck his head out the window that morning and saw six more victims lining up to file reports.

I would imagine these documents enjoyed a very limited release as to not allow the parishioners, the police or the press to find out that the Diocese of Scranton was hiding another pedophile. By the time these documents were issued, Father Gibson had already been removed from the Diocese and, more importantly, the jurisdiction that could have sought criminal penalties against this monster. Father Gibson was sent to the Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer, Missouri.

This was a continuation of the Diocese’s policy of keeping things quiet and secret. You would think that they would have learned after the Father Caparelli case came to light in the 1990’s. Father Caparelli was convicted of sexually molesting boys and died in prison of AIDS in 1994. Is it possible that the diocese had a more prolific child rapist on its hands in the person of Father Gibson? We don’t know because the veil of secrecy still protects Father Gibson.

When are they going to learn? When are the parishioners in the Diocese of Scranton going to start holding there church leaders to account for their actions? More importantly, when are the public safety and judicial organizations in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania going to step in and dismantle this criminal conspiracy aimed at protecting pedophiles?